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Teaser Reaction: Black Panther
Hero. Avenger. King. Finally!
There is no other way to say it. This movie is going to be the biggest and most important movie of the superhero genre. Period.
This is the first time Marvel Studios will be presenting a film with a nearly all-black cast. I mean, My God? Some of the most winningest Hollywood dramas, based on real-life events, can't even say that! FACTS.
This is an extremely powerful cultural moment for Africa and the entire African diaspora. Why? Because, for centuries, we were represented as either uncivilized slaves, uneducated "Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimas," sexual predators and violent gang members. Never did we have a superheroic black image to reflect us like Superman and Wonder Woman did for white boys and white girls.
Just as Patty Jenkins' record-breaking "Wonder Woman" film was, more or less, a cinematic 'love letter' from women to women, so shall Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther" movie be an ode to black people. The film boasts an overflow of black talent, which includes Chadwick Boseman ("42"), Michael B. Jordan ("Creed"), Academy-Award winner Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"), Danai Gurira ("The Walking Dead"), Angela Bassett ("What's Love Go to Do With It"), and Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland").
It's not everyday audiences see black people on the big screen outside of the lens of prejudiced white eyes--culturally inaccurate African garb, half or fully naked, nappy-headed, "blackface," big lips, and so on...and so on.
However, with the "Black Panther" movie being helmed by a talented black director in Ryan Coogler ("Fruitvale Station, "Creed"), it would seem our long since silenced calls for better cinematic representation has been answered. Marvel Studios also has much to gain here as well. It is no secret that the vast majority of any comic book publisher's readership, including Marvel's, has, since the 1940's, been young white males. But if the "Black Panther" movie is half as enjoyable as the first trailer is, then maybe this will be what opens the door to multiple new generations of fans of the character--adult or child, girl or boy-- that will count the Black Panther amongst their favorite superheroes, if not their favorite.
And, if all goes well financially at the box office when "Black Panther" hits theaters globally in February 2018, it will start a footrace between film studios in putting out more and more superhero movies featuring characters of other underrepresented ethnicities as well.
Hopefully, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, its all about "Black Panther," and I dare any of you to disagree with me...because, quite frankly, it's about fucking time.